Worship Changes Everything


Do You Know How Much I Love you? 

When the specialist told Mark and me that I had breast cancer, we heard those words with such a mix of emotions. There was fear, certainly. I love my husband, my children and grandchildren so much. I was praying for us all before I even knew I was praying. I know that heaven awaits, so why be afraid?— but fear tried to stare me down and bring doubt about my future. Somewhere within me during this time, I just knew in my spirit that my time and work here on earth is not done. In the days that followed, as we talked to each other and the children, I experienced so much love from them and other cherished friends that I knew, just knew, that Jesus had won it all, and that He would never leave me or forsake me. Everyone kept speaking the promises of God over our lives.. and my faith began to rise.

My husband is so strong, and his confidence that God was with us and would bless me beyond measure was incredibly faith-building and kept my spirit man buoyant. Perfect love casts out all fear. And this I know to be true. The confidence I have in these words continues to grow within me. And I praise God for a husband who showed great determination that we would work, rest, pray, fight, and do anything and every- thing God called us to do to experience His healing. I have been so blessed to have family and friends to walk this journey with me. 

My oldest daughter, Amy, has been a wonderful friend and comfort to me as she has taken care of me. Her tenderness and fierce love toward me still brings tears to my eyes. She still fusses over me to make sure I am okay in every way. Thank you, Amy. I am so, so grateful to God for my family. Zoe kept me laughing and kept worship flowing around our home, and Chloe kept my feet on the ground telling me I’d be fine everyday …

As I entered into the medical treatments, there were moments of discouragement, frustration, and despair. I hurt. I could hardly think straight. During chemo, I think my emotions shut down for a while. I just felt numb. But as I learned to open my heart again to God’s presence and just simply be with Him, worship began to
flow ... slowly, but wholeheartedly, and His presence with me in those dark days is something I treasure more than words can express. God spoke to me in that numbness, not with audible words, but so clearly in my spirit. He asked me, “Darlene, do you trust me?” I weighed my heart and my answer carefully. My answer was soft. I was tired. I didn’t feel energy coursing through my body. But my answer was, “Yes, God, I trust you.”

That God should come so close to talk with me was enough for me to keep going. But it wasn’t enough for God. He wasn’t done talking to me. His next question, which went straight to my heart and soul, still overwhelms me. He asked, “Darlene, do you know how much I really love you?”

Tears coursed down my cheeks. I sobbed. I’m a church girl. Of course I know God loves me! I know the Bible verses and the right answers. I knew He loved me so much He gave His only Son - my wonderful Savior - to die for me. But God didn’t want me to answer with what I grew up with and what I already knew in my head. He wanted me to know how much He loved me, right then, right there, deep in my heart. To be honest, I was struggling with this question. It didn’t feel like love. But in one of the most intimate moments of my life, I gave God my answer. “Yes, I know how much you love me.” I did. I do. And because I trust His love for me, I can trust Him with the process.

His presence, His love, overwhelmed me. It hurt him that I was walking through suffering. I am still awed at the moment. I heard Psalm 23 loud and clear within in me—though you walk through the shadow of the valley of death. I would walk through. This was a shadow. He would be with me.

Was I still tired? Did I still feel pain? Yes and yes. But oh, in that precious moment of worship, God’s love washed over me and inside me. I believe that in that experience I could truly say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” Job 13:15 (NKJV).